My Picks for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Recently got my catalog with a sneak peek of the Nordstrom anniversary sale. I thought I’d share a few of the highlights. (Sorry for the photo quality. I couldn’t find pics online, so I had to settle for scanning the catalog.)

Sale officially starts July 18, but Nordstrom card holders get early access starting July 10. Offers available in-store and at shop.nordstom.com

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Dolce Vita Yazmina Multi-Wrap Bootie $169.90 – Love the duotone, and the chain embellishment on these shoes. Edgy but still classy. Would look fabulous with jeans!

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Steal me some of Stila’s Color Balm Lipsticks!

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Recently, Ulta had select shades of Stila’s new(isn) Color Balm Lipsticks on sale for $12. I’ve heard great things about them, so though I need more lippies like a hole in the head, I couldn’t resist grabbing a few to try out the formula.

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Best and Worst…Drugstore Makeup Wipes!

IMG_3126I’ve been meaning for quite some time to do a post on makeup wipes. These little multitaskers have become a staple of my beauty routine. I use them to remove the bulk of my makeup at night before cleansing. I use them to remove swatches. I sometimes use them in the morning when I’m getting ready to sanitize and remove product from my hands. As you can see, I go through a lot of these, so I’ve had a chance to try several, and I thought I’d share what I thought were the best, the worst, and the merely average.

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LOTD | Multi-dimensional with MAC

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I had a somewhat butterfly-inducing meeting today: I was going to reconnect with a manager from a firm that almost hired me a year to find out if they might have any new opportunities on the horizon. I wanted to look nice and put together, but still casual and natural, not trying too hard. I decided to reach for some go-to products from MAC’s Extra Dimension line.

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What I’m Watching: Pride and Prejudice

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I don’t often talk film on this blog, but after my recent post reflecting on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, I thought I’d post a a follow-up giving props to the original. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to reread Austen’s novel, but I satisfied my craving for authentic Austen by turning to the next best thing: the BBC’s 1995 mini-series adaptation.

I won’t go on and on here, except to mention that if you’re wanting to dive into Austen’s world, but are intimidated by the archaic language of the books, or simply don’t have the time, this series is a wonderfully executed and a faithful adaptation of this classic love story. (Much more so than the more recent feature-film remake, which cuts out much of the novel’s content). It’s beautifully shot, well-acted, and well-cast. Even better–it features a very young, very sexy Colin Firth who is dashing throughout and at one point surprisingly and gratuitously filmed in the bath. Yeah, I watched the entire 6-hour series in one go.

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Review: Kat Von D Autograph Pencil “Puro Amor”

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If you tend to buy a lot of beauty products, especially palettes and value sets, chances are you have about 20 black pencil eyeliners, since they seem to come with practically every product I buy.

If this is, in fact, the case, you probably don’t need this Kat Von D Autograph pencil in “Puro Amor”–or, as we consumers call it, “black.” While it’s usable, I think there are many black liners out there that are superior.

“Puro Amor” retails for $10 for 0.028 oz. exclusively at Sephora (the only chain which carries the Kat von D brand). Before you get too excited by that price, this is significantly less product than, say, Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Pencils at 0.04 oz., but it’s still definitely on the less expensive end of products you can get at Sephora. I ended up with this liner because it came packaged with my True Romance Eyeshadow Palette (review coming soon).

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At first glance, this product seems decent. It’s creamy and glides on smoothly, though it’s certainly not the blackest of black liners. It smudges easily–rather too easily, in fact, as it quickly starts to blend away and lose opacity. I also find that this smudge-ability persists, with the liner never really setting properly, and tending to smudge, migrate, or fade throughout the day.

I like this liner as a base for powder eyeshadow. If I want to do a smokey eye, so I’ll be layering a shadow on top to bump up the color and help with staying power, the smudginess of this liner is a welcome trait. But I find that I’m really limited with this liner. If I try to do a defined, crisp line, it won’t be dark enough and won’t stay put. If I use it on the waterline, or under the lower lashline, I’ll end up with some panda eyes. Given how many fantastic black liners there are out there–even at a much lower price point–I can’t see ever purchasing this one by choice.

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Not doing somersaults for Kate Somerville’s Detox Daily Cleanser

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I got a rare chance to try some Kate Somerville products when Sephora offered them as part of a a 500-pt perk. I say rare, because at $32 for 4 fl. oz., the Detox Daily Cleanser would normally be way outside my personal realm of possibilities. And I have to say, while the product does have its good points, I don’t think I’m going to be shelling out those Hamiltons for a refill anytime soon.

The main thing about this cleanser is that it is very gentle. It cleanses without stripping the skin, so I could see it being good for someone with sensitive or dry skin. Unfortunately, for my super-oily skin I felt like it didn’t really do enough. I would wash my face and still feel greasy, like I wanted to wash again. When I wake up in the morning, I have a lot of oil that has accumulated on my skin while I sleep, and I need to clean that all away. This stuff just didn’t do that for me.

On top of performance issues,IMG_3061 I wasn’t that happy about the lemony scent and CRAZY yellow hue of the product. On top of screaming artificial, that color just looks too close to a certain bodily fluid to make me feel happy about rubbing it on my face– less lemon than “lemon snow cone”, if you know what I mean.

But the color and scent are really a minor concern for me. My real issue was that this cleanser just doesn’t do enough for me. If you want a cleanser that will remove makeup–not this one. If you want a cleanser that will foam up well–look elsewhere. And if you need heavy-duty oil busting power–this isn’t going to cut it.

That being said, if you often have trouble with cleansers stripping or irritating your skin, this might be worth a look.

 

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NOTD: Gap “Sand Castle”

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A long time ago, in an outlet mall far far away, I was in the checkout line at the Banana Republic Outlet and randomly grabbed a couple of BR brand nail polishes. I wasn’t expecting much from a clothing-label-branded nail polish, but I liked the colors and they were on clearance. They turned out to be amazing. So recently, when I saw some nail polishes on sale at Gap, I hoped I could recreate my former serendipity. After all, BR and Gap are the same company, so their branded-nail polish should be comparable, right?

No.

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I’ve been pretty disappointed by my Gap nails, especially “Sand Castle” which is a lovely pinky beige, but extremely sheer. After three coats the nail line is still visible.

Even if sheer is what you’re going for, the polish has a tendency to go streaky. Now granted, I’m not the most skilled manicurist, so maybe those of you with talent can avoid this, but I think it’s the mark of a good polish when it self-levels.

On top of everything else, this polish chips quickly and easily. Such a bummer, cuz I do really love the shade.

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What I’m Reading: Pride and Prejudice AND ZOMBIES!

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The back cover copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies introduces its authors thusly:

JANE AUSTEN is the author of Sense and SensibilityPersuasionMansfield Park, and other masterpieces of English literature. SETH GRAHAME-SMITH once took a class in English literature.

Apparently, Grahame-Smith never took a class in history, since he seems to be under the misapprehension that a musket can be fired multiple times in quick succession without reloading.

But seriously folks, while I take this blurb for the unmitigated snark that it is clearly intended to be, it’s nonetheless clear that Grahame-Smith doesn’t really understand much about Austen, or the history of English literature in general–which is not to say that the book doesn’t have its good points, or that it won’t be an enjoyable read. I just found myself disappointed that a concept with so much potential wasn’t able to live up to its possibilities.

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Makeup Empties | Spring 2014

Another day, another big ol’ honking pile of used up beauty products I’m finally getting to throw in the trash.

This time, however, it’s a much daintier serving, since the focus today is makeup. Because I have a pretty decently-sized collection, I don’t use up makeup too often, except for the stuff I use on the daily (like foundation, concealer, powder) and the products with a clear shelf-life.

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